True North Kennels is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is NAVHDA registered. In addition to our Pudelpointers, we are actively engaged in raising service dogs, raising 10 puppies and whelping 30 future service dogs.
A Bit of Background:
Chuck grew up with hunting dogs his whole life. He had beagles and shorthairs and he and his family hunted quite a bit. I grew up with house dogs, German Shepherds, Irish terriers, etc. My family did not hunt. After we got married, we got a German Shorthair Pointer. Chuck hunted with her and our son. When we lost her we got another GSP. We then learned about PPs and after hunting behind one. After hunting with a PP, Chuck really like the breed. After further research we decided that this was the dog for our family and the type of hunting that Chuck participated in. As for breeding, we had whelped 5 litters of puppies for a service dog organization, and we realized that we love having the pups around. We have a great set up in our house and yard for puppies, and the knowledge and time.
The foundation of True North Kennels is Juniper Creeks Efia. Fia was whelped on September 1, 2016. She is brown with a medium dense, medium harsh coat. Her hips and eyes have been evaluated by OFA and deemed good. In August 2017, Fia tested NAVHDA’s Natural Ability test and scored 112, prize I. Fia had nine pups in our A litter were whelped in March 2019. Sired by Ripsnorter’s Gustav Olaf Bojangles (NA 112, UT189 II), the litter has been exceptional! Several of our puppies have done very well in their NA testing. One of Fia's puppies has not only done very will in hunting but also in Scent Testing and agility.
We are hoping to be able to better the breed with each breeding and we are particular with the studs that we use. We use our knowledge in breeding and raising service dogs in our program. Our puppies are raised right in our home so they are in the house from day one. They learn about family noises like vacuum cleaners, the coming and going of people, they get bopped by our cat (who rules the house!) We also do early scent training by giving them something to smell everyday. (Cinnamon, bird wing, etc.) Our pups are well socialized with different people and kids. They come with first vaccines done, as well as microchipped. We expose our pups to water and wing, walks in the woods, other dogs, lots of kids, and opportunities for independence and to gain courage. We use ENS early and loosely follow a program called Puppy Culture that breaks down the puppies week by week as to what they are capable of, working through fear periods etc.
Our theory is that the hunting should be bred into our dogs. What we aim for is solid, steady puppies that will be all business in the field but able to settle and be good companions in the home. We want the versatility of the breed to continue, but also maintain the "off switch" that PPs are supposed to have. As much as we all wish, most people can't hunt 365 days a year. Work, family, kids, parents all take up time these days. We feel it is so important not to breed the "excellent companion" part of the breed out.
We are currently contemplating a final litter with Fia this Spring.